Saturday, December 2, 2006

this is why i always whisper...

i wont go into a lot about why i love this record, especially since the entry below for number 20 is so extensive. i will just say this: this record solidifies my love for nina persson. the songs here are produced with a warm love for delicacy, crafted around nina's stunning vocal abilities.


A CAMP-a camp

RELEASE DATE: August 23, 2001

i have this nasty little habit. i admit it. it's not a good idea. but i do it anyway. all. the. time. what is this secret hunter is going to spill here, you might be pondering. i'll tell you straight up: i sometimes buy records just because the cover art calls to me.

there. i said it.

casually glancing over my list, i notice that four of the twenty-five records that made the cut were purchases made this way. some that appear on other peoples' lists were made the same way (the godspeed record that papa shoegaze referenced is one, as is the ep, At The Doorway Again, that pre-curses Bavarian Fruit Bread by hope sandoval-papa shoegazes #21-which i noticed you can pick up on amazon for a mere $30 these days.)

my girlfriend was stressed out. that much i could tell. its easy to spot a stressed out girlfriend; just look for the boy thats taking the brunt of hostility, aggression, and anger spurred by some outside force but directed towards him. after all, girlfriends cant yell at their professors or the thriving theatre communities in college towns. and that anger has to go somewhere, right? but i digress.

my girlfriend was stressed out. and something had to be done. i wandered down to the local plan 9 records, a store famous for the best music around with the worst service (one of the employees modeled his working behavior after jack blacks douche-bag of a character in Hi Fidelity. this i know for a fact). i had, on occasion, asked the person behind the register which were the newest and coolest records out this week, in hopes that were i to make a purchase based on their opinion or recommendation, maybe he/she would attend my bands next local gig (they didn't) or maybe they'd give me a discount (nope). the salesman pointed to a stand labeled new arrivals and kept trying to get me to pick up the new record by some then-unknown emo outfit called fall out boy. but the record seated next to the one he said would be the next big thing (he was WAY off, yes?) had this cover that just called to me. a beautiful girl staring off into nothing. her name set in a typeface in a manner that screamed "i am not a rock record. i am something special". "what about this?" i asked the sales-jerk. "eh, it's alright," he said. (it turned out to be amazing) "it's new" (the copyright info revealed it was almost 2 years old) "and its kind of like ani defranco" (it wasnt).

but i purchased it blindly, or deaf-ly i should say, as a present for my girlfriend. she was stressed out. two weeks later, as we were driving somewhere. she asked if she could plug in her iPod to play me some music. i agreed, thinking maybe she would play me the life-changing music i purchased her.

she played me the new ani record i had failed to notice had just come out.

"what about the record i gave you?" i asked, trying not come off as a cry-baby. "oh. it was very sweet of you to get me a gift. it did put me in a much better mood. but it isnt my thing," she said as she scrubbed through her surf green iPod to play me the 2 tracks she felt were worth the 5mbs of iPod space they took up. she got a little frustrated at me when i asked her to put those two songs on repeat. "you can have it if you want it."

SCORE! my keen sense of cover art to song quality ratios payed off again. this album is like finding the small little coffee house around a corner. the one that makes the best coffee and youre afraid to tell your friends about it because if everyone starts showing up, it wont be yours anymore. its folky, but not simple. it's orchestrated, but not arrogant. it's everything i like about hope sandoval, but french (this was her first solo english-language work since her band lady & bird). it has the arranged intelligence of a brian wilson or van dyke parks record, but with a soft, hushed, feminine touch. it's everything i like about belle & sebastian, without the sebastian. its so perfectly timeless. its just perfect. i havent brought myself to pick up her new record, or her listen to the records that predate this for fear of the exposure altering my perception of this one.

i must admit, i think i might have given away papa shoegazes christmas surprise here.

KEREN ANN-not going anywhere
RELEASE DATE: November 25, 2003
LABEL: Blue Note Records


Papa Shoegaze said...

nice. and im not going anywhere either. especially not if you and hope are coming over.
and no im not giving away your surprise...

man, i remember you going a little nuts over some of the drums on nina's record

...(transformers the movie sndtrk)

Captain Ultra said...

was it this nina record? or the cardigans?

dun dunn dunnnnnnn!!!

Captain Ultra said...

hey, also.

give me a call when you can. i am stupid and forgot to put your number in my new phone.

Big Cougar said...

Tis true - Nina can do no wrong.